Updated: May 7
Raise your hand if your business was thrust into a “pivotal” spiral last year? Probably just about every business owner cringes a tiny bit when thinking about that question. Typically, we see a pivot, or a basic change of direction, when you are striving to increase performance within your market. Maybe original product lines are not performing as strongly as previously seen, or you’ve determined your target audience has shifted. Or you know, there’s a global pandemic. These are all valid reasons for a thoughtful shift in strategy. But when considering a pivot, whether planned or a necessary survival tactic, be mindful of your messaging and approach.
What are your objectives? Are you seeking to improve revenue, strengthen your brand image or identify potential new audiences? A shift in marketplace performance is almost always at the center of a new strategy. In 2020, brick and mortars went virtual, shopping habits dramatically shifted and items that were previously commonplace became priceless (can’t spare a square anymore!). However, when altering your approach, even during a crisis, it's crucial to continue a thoughtful methodology. As difficult as it may be, don’t overreact but be proactive.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners understand that one area that needs to be examined closely during changing times is your audience. Your product may be fine, but is your target market rapidly shifting? Or perhaps more than likely, how you communicate with your core buyer needs examining. Pivoting your marketing and comms strategy requires a coordinated approach. This can be a much more efficient and budget friendly approach than an unwarranted product overhaul.
Last year, web based sales were skyrocketing and the emergence of virtual events proved it may be here to stay. Many organizations were faced with a lack of communications infrastructure to direct their buyers to new channels and adapt to new buyer habits. Web pages were crashing and while big businesses were prepared for a crisis situation, smaller scaled operations simply were not. From asking loyal consumers to purchase gift cards, selecting local over chain stores, and in-person events turning virtual, your business landscape was upended. Small businesses that were able to weather the initial storm surge knew the value of their existing audience, keeping them informed, reassured and loyal to the brand. Again, showing the power in knowing your audience and being creative when speaking with them.
A well-managed pivot can be a harbinger of better business. It is a matter of strategy and execution – not panic. If your business needs help with your pivot strategy and brand re-alignment, let’s chat!